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Jorge discovers “human dignity”…

Francis makes Official Change to Catechism: Death Penalty now universally “inadmissible” because an Attack on the Human Person

Breaking news from the Vatican: After nearly 2,000 years, a layman pretending to be Pope has uncovered what the Gospel “really teaches” regarding human dignity and the death penalty.

Under his stage name “Pope Francis”, the Argentinian apostate Jorge Bergoglio has decreed that a change be made to the 1997 typical edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a work originally promulgated by the non-existent “apostolic authority” of the Polish apostate bishop Karol Wojtyla (stage name: “Pope John Paul II”).

The change pertains to article n. 2267, which reads as follows in the 1997 edition:

2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity with the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm—without definitively taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself—the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.” [John Paul II, Evangelium vitae 56.]

By means of a so-called rescript, which Francis approved on May 11, 2018, the above text has now been changed to the following:

2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”,[1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.

__________________________

[1] FRANCIS, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017: L’Osservatore Romano, 13 October 2017, 5.

This is not the first time, however, that the teaching of the Novus Ordo Catechism on the death penalty has been revised. The first and provisional edition of the work was released in 1992 in French and published widely in English translation in 1994. In article n. 2267, it stated the following about capital punishment:

2267 If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

In other words, the 2018 revision decreed by Francis is the third time the “official Catholic” teaching has been formulated.

We have summarized this bizarre development in the following three graphics, which you are welcome to download and spread (click on each image for the full-size version):

The sources used in these graphics are: (1) Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, ISBN 0899422578; (2) Catechism of the Catholic Church: Modifications from the ‘Editio Typica’, 1998, ISBN 1574551663; (3) Vatican Press Office, Bollettino of Aug. 2, 2018.

Notice how in the first two versions of the Novus Ordo Catechism, the death penalty is admitted as legitimate in principle, even if its permissible use is severely restricted (which is itself contrary to the traditional teaching, as we shall see shortly). Whereas the 1994 text said that “public authority should limit itself to” using bloodless means of punishment as much as possible, the 1997 revision declared that “authority will limit itself to such means” (italics added in both quotations).

But that was then. Now we are in 2018, and, what do you know, there has magically appeared an “awareness” that even though the death penalty was “considered” — even by the Vatican II Church itself! — to be an “acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good”, it is really nothing of the sort and even “per se contrary to the Gospel”, as Francis said in his landmark speech on the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Catechism:

It must be clearly stated that the death penalty is an inhumane measure that, regardless of how it is carried out, abases human dignity.  It is per se contrary to the Gospel, because it entails the willful suppression of a human life that never ceases to be sacred in the eyes of its Creator and of which – ultimately – only God is the true judge and guarantor.

(Antipope Francis, Address to Participants in the Meeting Promoted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, vatican.va, Oct. 11, 2017)

There is another crucial observation to be made. Based on John Paul II’s teaching in the 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae, n. 56, the second edition of the Novus Ordo Catechism states: “…the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity ‘are very rare, if not practically non-existent.'” Did you catch that? This sentence concedes in principle that capital punishment can be “an absolute necessity”! This goes beyond mere permissibility, then, and declares that there are conceivable circumstances under which executing an offender becomes absolutely necessary; namely, when it is the only way of “rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm”.

So here we have a case of Francis contradicting not only the traditional Catholic teaching but even the doctrine of his own Modernist sect, which, back in the antediluvian 1990s, apparently hadn’t yet discovered that “inviolable human dignity” which Bergoglio is now so fond of proclaiming, and the foundations for which were laid by John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II.

By the way, in 1900 Pope Leo XIII had something to say about that ever-increasing “awareness” about man and his supposed rights: “The world has heard enough of the so-called ‘rights of man.’ Let it hear something of the rights of God” (Encyclical Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, n. 13). Oh yeah, God! Remember Him? He doesn’t feature very prominently in Francis’ ideology. For Francis, God is an afterthought. It’s all about man, and if you need to believe in God in order to be focused on man, then you’ll just need to do that — it’s the result that counts.

An insanely exaggerated notion of human dignity is one of the hallmarks of the Vatican II Sect. This can be illustrated quite strikingly by comparing how much the the traditional Catholic Roman Catechism (also known as The Catechism of the Council of Trent) had to say about the dignity of man. It is expressed in one single paragraph:

When the faithful have placed these things before their eyes, let them also reflect that God condescended to assume the lowliness and frailty of our flesh in order to exalt man to the highest degree of dignity. This single reflection, that He who is true and perfect God became man, supplies sufficient proof of the exalted dignity conferred on the human race by the divine bounty; since we may now glory that the Son of God is bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, a privilege not given to Angels, for nowhere, says the Apostle, doth he take hold of the Angels: but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold.

(Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part I, Article III)

That’s it.

The Novus Ordo Catechism, on the other hand, has an entire chapter entitled “The Dignity of the Human Person”, under which are treated a whole host of subjects (eight articles in Part III, Chapter 1), spanning 35 pages in total in the official English edition. This is the result of the Novus Ordo preoccupation with man, which can be traced back to the influence of Freemasonry. Indeed, the Second Vatican Council boldly and blasphemously declared: “According to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown” (Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, n. 12).

Sixty years prior, Pope St. Pius X had a slightly different take:

…the distinguishing mark of Antichrist [is that] man has with infinite temerity put himself in the place of God, raising himself above all that is called God; in such wise that although he cannot utterly extinguish in himself all knowledge of God, he has contemned God’s majesty and, as it were, made of the universe a temple wherein he himself is to be adored. “He sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God” (II. Thess. ii., 2).

(Pope Pius X, Encyclical E Supremi, n. 5)

What Francis says is an “increasing awareness” of human dignity and its supposed inviolability, is nothing but droves of religious, political, and social leaders droning on and on about human dignity for decades, in accordance with the Masonic program and at the expense of the laws and rights of God, of course.

Let’s now turn to the traditional Catholic teaching on the death penalty, expressed so beautifully and succinctly in the Roman Catechism of the 16th century:

Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment­ is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: “In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord” (Ps 100:8).

(Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part III, Fifth Commandment)

Could the contrast to the Novus Ordo drivel be any greater? The true Catholic teaching does not treat the death penalty as a step child of Catholic moral theology, which we have no choice but to accept because it is the only way to render an aggressor harmless. Rather, the traditional Roman Catechism happily affirms that executing those guilty of capital offenses is a legitimate act of retribution on the part of the state. Furthermore, it points out that the death penalty is “an act of paramount obedience” to the Fifth Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex 20:13), because it helps to ensure the protection of innocent human life by the obvious means of deterrence. Such deterrence has universal applicability, meaning it deters at all times and in all places, regardless of circumstances, social progress, or any “increasing awareness.”

It stands to reason that the Unholy See in Rome is trying to sell the latest revision to the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a legitimate doctrinal development. Along with the rescript amending the applicable text, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Destruction of the Faith today released an accompanying letter in which it tried to justify the change:

This letter from “Cardinal” Luis Ladaria claims that the revised teaching “expresses an authentic development of doctrine that is not in contradiction with the prior teachings of the Magisterium” (n. 8). But is this so?

True, certain parts of the new text of article n. 2267 of the Novus Ordo Catechism can make it seem as if Francis is merely saying that, given our present-day circumstances, capital punishment is no longer ever necessary to ensure the general public is kept safe from murderers and other dangerous criminals. Thus he would be upholding the legitimacy of the death penalty per se (in principle) but be saying that it is inadmissible per accidens (by circumstance), given how safe and effective the systems of detention are in our day (and apparently also in every place).

Such an interpretation, however, is ruled out by other parts of the text. Let’s review (notice the underlined portions):

2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”,[1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.

__________________________

[1] FRANCIS, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017: L’Osservatore Romano, 13 October 2017, 5.

According to this text, the death penalty is intrinsically wrong.

This is corroborated by Francis’ declaration that the death penalty is “per se contrary to the Gospel”, as we already quoted him saying in the very address referenced in this revised Catechism text. Anything that is contrary to the Gospel per se or in principle is intrinsically wrong (such as adultery or fornication, for example — but we’ll let that slide for now).

What’s ironic is that, although the “light of the Gospel” is being invoked here, if we actually bother to consult the Gospels, we realize that not only is capital punishment not condemned there, it is in fact endorsed:

…God said: Honour thy father and mother: And: He that shall curse father or mother, let him die the death. (Mt 15:3-4)

For Moses said: Honour thy father and thy mother; and He that shall curse father or mother, dying let him die. (Mk 7:10)

And one of those robbers who were hanged, blasphemed him, saying: If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering, rebuked him, saying: Neither dost thou fear God, seeing thou art condemned under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done no evil. (Lk 23:39-41)

Jesus answered [to Pilate]: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin. (Jn 19:11)

Inasmuch as the rest of the New Testament is an extension and teaching of the Gospel, and no less divinely inspired, we can add a few more passages in endorsement of capital punishment:

Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. For princes are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good: and thou shalt have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God’s minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. (Rom 13:1-4)

A man making void the law of Moses, dieth without any mercy under two or three witnesses: How much more, do you think he deserveth worse punishments, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath esteemed the blood of the testament unclean, by which he was sanctified, and hath offered an affront to the Spirit of grace? (Heb 10:28-29)

But if the administration of capital punishment through the execution of a death sentence be “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”, then it is such an attack regardless of whether there is “an absolute necessity” (1997 Novus Ordo Catechism) to inflict it or not. In other words, if human dignity is inviolable and the death penalty violates it, then the death penalty is always immoral, in principle, and no “absolute necessity” could justify it.

By such reasoning, the biggest offender against human dignity would be God Himself, who not only permitted but in fact decreed capital punishment, beginning in Genesis 9:6: “Whosoever shall shed man’s blood, his blood shall be shed: for man was made to the image of God.” Notice that being made in the image of God is given here as the reason why the death penalty is to be imposed, whereas the Vatican II Modernists keep appealing to the image of God in man as the reason to outlaw capital punishment: “Underlying this stance, which may seem radical, is the same anthropological basis, the fundamental dignity of the human person, created in the image of God” (qtd. in Ladaria, “Letter to the Bishops regarding the new revision of number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the death penalty”, footnote 12).

Could it get any more absurd? God Himself has revealed the appropriateness of the death penalty precisely because man is made in His image and likeness!

The Vatican II Sect has turned everything upside down and inside out.

Note: A follow-up blog post discussing reactions to the change in Novus Ordo teaching and giving more commentary and analysis of the subject matter will be posted on this blog shortly.

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